Young Black men are 20 times more likely to by killed by guns than Whites, a federal report says.
Black males age 15–34 made up 2% of the United States’ population, yet accounted for 37% of gun-related murders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The 2019 analysis titled “A Public Health Crisis in the Making” uncovered a number of racial and ethnic disparities in America’s gun violence epidemic, USA Today reported..
The study also revealed that Black males, irrespective of age group, accounted for 63% of gun-related homicide victims.
Two groups, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, led the CDCP’s analysis.
Their statistics compared figures for the Anglo population of all ages and concluded that African American men were roughly 14 times more likely to be killed by a gun than White males.
“First time I lost someone to gun violence was when I was nine years old,” said 22-year-old SQ resident Davion “Dayday” Gates. “It was my cousin, and he got killed in Menlo Park in East Palo Alto… The majority [of people] that passed in my life passed from gun violence… Thirteen [of my] friends were killed, and with family it’s in the 20s.”
The threat of gun violence among Blacks is not limited to males, according to the CDCP report. Black women and underage girls face higher risk of being killed by a gun than females of any other race — four times greater risk compared to the general public.
The CDCP analysis shows that in addition to Black Americans, other ethnicities have also been disproportionately impacted by gun violence. American Indian and Alaska Natives were determined to be the next highest-risk group, following by Latino and Hispanics.
In 2019, one out of every 10 childhood deaths in the U.S. were due to gun violence — the second-highest number in the last 20 years.
“In response to legislation, there needs to be a drastic overhaul of how guns are distributed and to whom,” said Vincent O’Bannon, 60, a San Quentin resident.
The report noted that White males make up 73% of gun-related suicides. This makes White men nearly three times more likely to commit suicide with a gun than all other demographics combined.
In 2019 firearm suicides went up 60%, leaving 39,707 people dead from self-inflicted gunshots.
San Quentin resident Andrew Hardy was shocked by this number. “Forty-thousand suicides is a huge number,” he said. “Forty-thousand is an epidemic in its own right.”
The CDCP report said, “Despite the limitations, gun death data are the most reliable type of gun violence data currently available — but gun deaths are only the tip of the iceberg of gun violence. Many more people are shot and survive their injuries, are shot at but not hit, or witness gun violence,” the analysis said. “Many experience gun violence … or being threatened with a gun” but do not die.